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St Helens thump Huddersfield for back-to-back Super League wins

St Helens made it back-to-back wins at the start of the Betfred Super League season with a 28-0 rout of Huddersfield Giants taking them top of the early table.

Saints, unbeaten at the John Smith’s Stadium since 2017, ran in five unanswered tries, four of them converted, with Matt Whitley, Sione Mata’utia, Jack Welsby, Jon Bennison and Morgan Knowles scoring.

Aside from a second-half penalty-try decision, which went against Huddersfield, Ian Watson’s side rarely threatened as they failed to back up their 16-8 win over Leigh Leopards in the opening round.

Table toppers St Helens are ahead of Catalans Dragons and Hull KR on points difference after following their 40-4 rout of newly-promoted London Broncos with another convincing result.

Story of the game

Saints opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Whitley raced on to Jonny Lomax’s neat kick to touch down for his third try in two games after making his debut last week.

Saints put Giants under serious pressure, twice forcing the home side to drop out from under their posts, but Huddersfield responded with their best spell midway through the first period.

They ran the ball wide inside Saints’ half and wing Adam Swift was denied a try in the corner by Saints centre Waqa Blake’s tackle.

Saints were stretched again shortly before the interval, this time on the opposite wing when Giants’ Elliott Wallis was hauled down 10 yards short but the visitors grabbed a deserved second try, converted by Percival, to go 12-0 ahead just before the hooter.

Lewis Dodds’ high kick was regathered close to the Giants’ line and Mata’utia ran on to James Bell’s short pass to barge over.

St Helens' Jon Bennison and Huddersfield Giants' Elliot Wallis in action (SWpix)
Image: St Helens’ Jon Bennison scored one of his side’s five tries at Giants

Saints extended their lead 11 minutes into the second half when Welsby scurried over to touch down Daryl Clark’s perfectly-judged kick between the posts and Percival added the extras, making it 18-0.

The Giants rallied and after the video referee awarded them a penalty instead of a penalty try when Esan Marsters appeared to be obstructed by Saints hooker Clark, centre Kevin Naiqama was thwarted close to the visitors’ line.

Clark was sin-binned, but Saints still finished with a flurry.

Welsby slipped a tackle in midfield and Bennison finished off a lightning break for their fourth try, before Knowles charged under the posts in the closing stages to complete the scoring, with his touchdown converted by Tommy Makinson.

What’s next?

Live Betfred Super League

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Friday 1st March 7:30pm

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Huddersfield visit Wigan Warriors on Friday March 1 (8pm) with St Helens hosting Leigh Leopards at the exact same time.

Watch Wigan vs Huddersfield on Sky Sports Arena and St Helens vs Leigh on Sky Sports Action.

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